Composer John Morris has romped through the past with such comedically rousing scores as BLAZING SADDLES, THE LAST REMAKE OF BEAU GESTE and HISTORY OF THE WORLD: PART 1, but Morris’ symphonic lunacy truly hit its swashbuckling height with YELLOWBEARD.
Even if this Python-esque pirate spoof displayed more fool’s gold than the comedic riches that Mel Brooks had provided him with, Morris still invests a terrific, glistening majesty to a score that plays like Erich Wolfgang Korngold chasing after Bugs Bunny.
Anchoring this infectiously nostalgic score is a march theme that sounds like the start of Warner Bros. logo, with THE SEA HAWK to follow. Except it’s Graham Chapman’s maniacal blaggard who’s the good guy, the loping humor of his skullduggery evading the blue-blooded pomp and circumstance of Her Majesty’s pursuers, who engage their foe with rollicking thrusts and parries- complete with harpsichord and castanet accompaniment.
If YELLOWBEARD reminds keen-eared listeners of Morris’ equally trumpeting score to SPACEBALLS, it’s further proof of how the Korngoldian adventure he’s paying loving tribute to here would evolve into the stuff of STAR WARS. Quartet’s complete release also adds a rollicking vocal version of the end credits, showing off YELLOWBEARD’s score as finally unburied treasure, an infectiously fun jewel among the riches belonging to one of Hollywood’s great comedy composers.
Buy YELLOWBEARD here